The Department for Transport (DfT) has identified the growing market behind drone technology as a possible step to flying taxis in the near future.
In its latest report, the DfT highlighted how ‘drones offer vast opportunities in service industries and air taxis.’
However, despite the optimism for the drone industry surrounding the findings, the report went on to describe how the current aviation scene in the UK needed to be looked at more closely first.
The report states: “One of the greatest challenges is operating alongside aircraft and beyond visual line of sight so there is a need to carry out further work in this area.
“Although significant advances have been made, the aviation sector faces a number of challenges such as reducing emissions, noise, carbon dioxide and oxides of nitrogen (NOx).”
It continues: “We (the DfT) need to ensure that air travel demand can be managed while balancing the need to reduce the environmental impact. Currently, pure electric flight is constrained by electrical storage capacity, presenting a significant challenge for the aerospace and aviation industry.”
Following the report, John Fraser, CCO at Decentralised Autonomous Vehicles, said: “Low public acceptance of autonomous vehicles has been highlighted as a major obstacle the industry is still to overcome. A recent study for the World Economic Forum found that only 49 per cent of UK respondents would be willing to take a ride in a fully autonomous vehicle, compared to 58 per cent globally.”
He added: “The fact the Department of Transport is investigating the behavioural changes needed for these vehicles to be accepted by the public shows the extent of the challenge ahead. This will help accelerate both technology advancement as well as social acceptance of vehicles and the concept of being a passenger in a driverless car, truck, aircraft or train.”